Christian Boltanski returned to Echigo-Tsumari for ETAT2018

2018 TRIENNALEPosted : March 21, 2018

Christian Boltanski, one of the most prominent contemporary artists in the world, retuend to Echigo-Tsumari this early spring for inspection of a potential site for his new artwork for ETAT2018.

His engagement with Echigo-Tsumari goest back in time and he was one of the participating artists in the very first festival in 2000. Born in a Jewish family, he grew up by learning the experience of holocaust which influenced upon the overarching theme of "absence of human being" that he has been pursued through his artworks. Using old clothes and photographs, his artworks seem to attempt to recover identities of Jewish people who lost their lives.

▲"The Last Class" (2006) photo by Anzai

The Last Class he created in co-operation with Jean Kalman for ETAT2006 has become a permanent collection of the festival, still attracting many visitors to the region. Boltanski will be presenting new artwork on the upper level of "The Last Class" this summer. It will be a translunary shadows in the shapes of bat and skelton which would remind audience of death - one of the masterpieces of Boltanski.


In order to inspect the site, Boltanski "returned" to Echigo-Tsumari and visited locals who have been looking after "The Last Class" ever since it was built over ten years ago. (Cover photo). During the creation of The Last Class for ETAT2006, he met them who were graduates of the former Higashikawa Primary School and heard about their memories which gave him inspiration for the artworks. The reunion after all therse years brought smiles to their faces.

≫"Les Linges" (2000) photo by Anzai

≫"Yoyage de't" (2003) photo by Anzai ※ Co-produced by Jean Kalman

≫"The Last Class" (2006) photo by T. Kuratani ※ Co-produced by Jean Kalman

≫"No Man's Land" (2012) photo by Osamu Nakamura